Apple chairman Arthur D. Levinson spoke at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business on Tuesday, where he notably talked about running the company’s board of directors and Steve Jobs, according to a report by Fortune.
The chairman answered questions from the audience and university students while on stage and described how Jobs’ death has affected him to the point where he has yet to even finish reading Walter Isaacson’s biography on the late CEO: “I’m still not to the point where I walk into that board room and don’t miss Steve. He was a one of a kind guy… The Steve Jobs that was in the public eye was not, for the most part, the Steve Jobs that I knew.”
Levinson called Jobs “extremely, poorly understood” and mentioned that life at the company has been “weird” ever since Jobs died 16 months ago, but he seemed confident in Apple and long-term goals: “There [are] long-term signs of how a company is doing and whether or not Apple sells 47 or 48 million iPhones—let somebody else worry about that.”
As for how heavily the board influences such long-term goals, Levinson clarified he and the board sometimes preview products 6 to 18 months before launch. However, it does not focus on reviewing the products: “The board is not there to define product specs. It’s there as a sounding board. It’s there as a resource,” he said. “And ultimately, the board is there to hire and fire the CEO.”
Check out Fortune for more details. We will update with video of the talk when it becomes available.